From the Moderator
A few weeks ago, I attended a meeting in Temuka called by the Anglican Church’s Christchurch Diocese; the Diocese is concerned about some of the cooperating parishes in the Canterbury region. Most of these churches were formed at the height of the movement towards Church union in the 1970s, when Anglicans and Presbyterians in several rural areas and small towns across the region came together to form cooperating parishes. The question, then and now, is how these parishes relate to the partner Churches that gave them birth, especially when many or most of these parishioners today no longer regard themselves as being either Presbyterian or Anglican. The problem here is not just one of denominational identity. It’s about what takes place in worship; and it’s about how we understand the nature and function of ordained ministry. The Anglicans expressed particular concern about the non-sacramental nature of the Presbyterian form of worship. The infrequent celebration of the Eucharist or Holy Communion is a concern for them, as is the tendency they have observed for Presbyterians to treat Communion as a memorial meal rather than a sacrament in which Christ is truly present.
These concerns need to be taken seriously. Part of the ‘Reformed and Reforming’ theme during my Moderatorial term has been to advocate a recovery of a proper sacramental theology in the Presbyterian Church. John Calvin, whose 500th anniversary of his birth we celebrated last year, did precisely that. Taking his lead from scripture, he advocated a proper balance between word and sacrament, and he believed very strongly that our being in union with Christ was inextricably linked to the act of being fed by Christ at His Table. This, he said, should occur whenever the Word is proclaimed.
In recent decades many Presbyterian churches have moved towards a more regular celebration of Communion. Many now celebrate monthly rather than quarterly but I think there is still more scope to discuss the role of Communion in the life of our Church and to reflect on the Biblical and theological underpinnings of our practice. The meeting in Temuka made me realise that this sort of discussion might be forced upon us by our ecumenical partners, whether we’re ready for it or not.
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Every six months or so Te Komiti Takawaenga o Te Haahi meet to discuss developments with and opportunities for supporting our Church’s bi cultural journey, and to receive an update on the support provided by the Te Whaiti Trust to young Maori students.
Our meeting at Lindisfarne College a couple of weeks ago also enabled us to join in the powhiri welcoming Ken MacLeod as the new rector of Lindisfarne. (Ken is the son of a Baptist minister, the Rev Angus MacLeod.) We also met 21 of the young people supported by the Trust. You may be interested in reading a very helpful summary prepared by our Te Ahorangi, the Rev Wayne Te Kaawa, on our Church’s support of engagement with Maori. You can download a copy of it here.
One of our most powerful contemporary forms of witness as a Church is in expressing that day-of-Pentecost unity we find in Christ. A unity made even more profound as we honour and celebrate the rich diversity God’s Church is made up of. Meeting the challenges of a Church that affirms its identify as being both bi cultural and multicultural is part of our unique identity as Christians in Aotearoa New Zealand and affirms the wonderful Biblical richness to be found in the proclamation that we are all created in God’s image.
General Assembly 2010
The General Assembly will be held from 11 am on Thursday 30 September to no later than 5 pm on Sunday 3 October in Christchurch.
A memo recently sent to all presbytery clerks regarding the presbytery reform decisions made at the 2008 Assembly, as well as a reminder of the process whereby proposals may be brought to the Assembly, can be viewed here.
In preparation for General Assembly:
- All presbytery clerks, UDC secretaries and Te Aka Puaho should have sent me details regarding the number of elders who will be coming to General Assembly.
- All parishes sending elders should have received from their presbyteries (etc) a commission form to be completed and returned to the presbytery.
- In order to comply with the Standing Orders of the General Assembly, all presbyteries/UDC’s and Te Aka Puaho should appoint an auditor to check the minutes of their meetings. The name of the auditor should be sent to me.
- Presbyteries, UDC’s and Te Aka Puaho should have received a list containing nominations for the 2012 Moderator-Designate. You need to choose one of these names as your nomination and post it by Friday 18 June 2010 to: The Convenor of the Nominating Committee, Ann Owen, 12 Aongatete Road, RD2 Katikati 3178. Please use your own processes to ensure that every presbytery that existed following the last General Assembly gets a vote.
- Any church council, presbytery/ UDC or Te Aka Puaho planning on bringing any proposal for legislative action need to have this notice and a certified extract from the minutes of the appropriate court to me by 29 July 2010.
- All committees and groups who write reports for the General Assembly need to have these to me in Word format by Friday 2 July 2010
Focal Identity Statement - Kupu Whakapono
Please take the opportunity to engage with the completion of this important faith statement. Use the website for responding if at all possible but the FIS Workgroup are quite happy to accept email responses to: firstname.lastname@example.org
They will also accept responses based on hard copy and posted to:
C/- Leith Valley Presbyterian Church
267 Malvern St
Uniting Church of Southern Africa
We have received an invitation from this CWM partner church to attend their General Assembly in Vereeniging. If you happen to be planning a trip to South Africa at the end of September and would like to take our greetings to their Assembly please contact me for details. (Sorry, we can’t pay for your travel!)
We have recently sent out an email updating the Church on our new and existing Press Go projects. If you have not received this email or would like to sign up to receive it you will find it here.
Parenting Today and two free parenting events
All parishes should have now received the Church’s latest social issues study guide, “Parenting Today”. The booklet aims to encourage churches to run parenting courses for their communities, and support parents to be the best they can be. If you have not received your copies or would like more sent to you please email or phone 04 801 6000, or download from our website.
To coincide with the launch of Parenting Today, we have tickets to give away to two parenting events
Attend the Parents Inc 'Fathers' Breakfast' in Wellington
We have two tickets to give away to fathers to attend this breakfast event aimed at invigorating and energizing fathers in the role they play in their families. The speakers include Parents Inc.'s Ian Grant and John Cowan, Prime Minister Hon. John Key, Bruce Pilbrow CEO of Parents Inc. and Deputy Chief Families Commissioner, Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast, Ruben Wiki and Pio Terei. The breakfast will be held 1 June, 2010, 7.15 – 8.30 am, at the Wellington Town Hall. If you would like to go into the draw to attend please email Angela with your contact details by 16 May 2010.
Free National Parenting Forum at Te Papa for church goers – enter the draw
Send a church goer involved in parent education to an expenses paid National Parenting Forum in Wellington by entering them in the draw to attend “The Changing Face of New Zealand Parenting”, the inaugural National Parenting Forum to be hosted by Parents Centres New Zealand Inc at Te Papa Museum from18-19 September 2010.
We are making eight free places available at the forum and we will pay an allowance of up to $320 towards travel and accommodation. Morning teas, lunches, afternoon teas and the forum dinner on Saturday evening are included in the free registration.
Participants at the conference will connect with other Presbyterians involved in parent education; explore new ways to inspire people in their church and community to be the best parents they can be. The forum will give those involved in parent education an insight into the changing face of New Zealand families. There will be a range of inspirational keynote speakers and a variety of informative and thought provoking workshops including understanding the challenges new immigrants face and how we can better support the new generation of kiwi families; key political parties will explain their policy plans relating to families; and you will learn how to create sustainable funding for your organisation’s parent education programmes.
To enter the draw, email the name of your church and church goer to Angela by 15 June 2010.
Thank you again for your prayers and your generous support of our Church.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
At long last we’ve moved into the new Knox Centre facilities on the ground floor of the Hewitson Wing at Knox College. A couple of things to note: firstly, we have a spare office to accommodate guest lecturers and ministers on study leave so bear this in mind for your future study leave plans; secondly, former students of the Theological Hall and School of Ministry are likely to lament the fact that we no longer had room for the pool table around which they spent so many hours. For the record, I won the final game before the table was sold.
This year, for the first time, we have been able to offer financial support to theology students who contribute to the life and mission of the Presbyterian Church but who are not necessarily studying for ordination. We received many applications and are delighted to announce the granting of 23 theological scholarships to 12 students from Laidlaw College, 10 to students from Otago University and one to a student at the University of Auckland.
By the time you read this the 30 April deadline for applications for our music scholarships will have passed but because of the small number of applications received so far we will extend the deadline to 15 May. These scholarships are intended to encourage young musicians in the Church and we’re especially interested in the 18 -30 age bracket. The scholarships consist of a cash grant plus two days in Dunedin to attend a music and worship workshop led by Malcolm Gordon and Darryl Tempero. This is a great opportunity for young musicians to hone their skills in the conduct of worship. For more details visit our website.
In his role as National Mission Enabler, John Daniel encourages regional groups and presbyteries to look for key people in their area who might in due course become regional mission advisors.
Such key people may have different focuses. For example, within the Kids Friendly initiative, two members of Jill Kayser’s team, Cheryl Harray and Lorraine Morgan, focus on the regional development of ministry relating to children and families. Youth ministry also has regional advisors; these include Stephanie Redhead (National Youth Coordinator, Otago/Southland), Robyn Burnett (Youth Director in Canterbury) and Emily Wotton (a youth, child and family worker for Auckland).
The Wellington Presbytery has a part-time Pioneer Mission Ministry Coordinator in Sue Fenton. Sue is involved with Messy Churches, ministry retreats, church camps, and various other regional mission activities.
Bruce Fraser is the Regional Mission Advisor for the Synod of Otago and Southland, focusing on helping churches review their mission journey and identify mission opportunities in their presbytery or parish. Bruce is also involved in the development of rural ministry and mission, in eldership training, and is part of the parish development reviews team.
Subject to the approval of Te Aka Puaho Synod, it is hoped that Hariata Haumate, a senior minister in Wellington, will be released from parish responsibilities to become a fulltime mission advisor.
May will be another busy month for John. There are several strategic mission processes underway, including work in Methven, the Wairarapa, and in the Kamai Presbytery. John will also run workshops at the South Island Ministry Conference at East Taieri.
Mission is Possible!
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
It has been a busy month with an Easter camp, focus group meeting, the first regional youth coordinators gathering and organising Connect.
But firstly, hot off the press, Gordon Fitch has finally received his visa to come to New Zealand; our new National Youth Coordinator will begin in May. Thank you to those of you who have been praying for this situation. Gordon will make a valuable contribution to PYM.
I had the privilege of speaking at the Wellington Easter Camp. It has been a while since I have had the chance to focus on the Easter story to the extent I did at camp. So many youth leaders around the country make these camps happen, it is where young people are encouraged, challenged and taken deeper in their faith. For some, it is the first time they have ever heard the Easter story. A big thanks to all the youth leaders that make these camps happen and the local churches around the country that serve, support and pray for their youth leaders and young people.
Connect registrations are now open, so encourage your youth leaders to register and attend Connect. Wellington Presbytery is hosting Connect this year and we are grateful for the assistance of their joint Youth Ministry Committee in helping make Connect happen.
We had the first gathering of our regional youth co-ordinators. There are currently four regional ones - Emily in Auckland, Nga in Wellington, Robyn in Christchurch and Steph in Otago-Southland. They do an amazing job serving the churches, youth leaders and ministers in their region as well as contributing to the bigger national picture. Together we updated the regionally run leadership courses for those aged 15 to 25 years, Going Somewhere, and began plans for developing Going Somewhere II.
Finally, a reminder that the deadline for the Training in Mission (TIM) opportunity expires this month. This is fully funded 10month training and immersion in mission experience based in India and South Africa beginning in 2011. If you know of people interested let them know as time is running out on this one; applicants need to email me before 15 May.
Until we meet again on the (bush) telegraph road…
Turakina Maori Girls' College National Appeal - $60,989.03 raised for boarding scholarships
Special thanks to all individuals, groups, parishes, and presbyteries for working so very hard to make the Turakina Appeal such a tremendous success. The final total received, including interest accrued, amounts to $60,989.03. Special thanks to the PSDS New Vision Foundation for their grant towards promotional costs and the Church for funding other costs.
Please note any further donations received to the Turakina Appeal will be included in the annual APW Scholarships awarded to two Turakina Maori Girls' College students each year.
Presbyterian Women NZ
Success of National Appeal more than just dollars
The Turakina fundraising initiative has not only brought in thousands of dollars, it has also been a successful awareness raising exercise. Throughout Aotearoa New Zealand, Presbyterians have been reminded of their responsibility to one of the earliest missions of the national Church - to provide opportunity, support and encouragement for the education of young Maori women at Turakina Maori Girls' College, a Presbyterian school. The need today is as real as it was in past years. A quote from a letter written by a former principal Ethel Kinross say:
“… I particularly ask your readers to remember in prayer these girls of ours as they go out from school into the battle of life. Pray that we who teach them will be guided in the ways that will help the girls most, and that they will be equipped as they leave college ‘with the whole armour of God’.”
Today, may we continue this prayer.
Next weekend the Dunedin Presbytery is hosting a “Transformers – Raising Up Young Leaders” camp. 20 young Leaders in Training (LITs) aged 10 to 13 will learn what it means to be a “Jesus leader” in their churches and communities. Together with their small group leaders (young people age 16 to 20 who are serving and role modelling as leaders) and their mentors, the LITs will explore five Jesus stories using games, adventures, workshops, music and art to find out what it means to be a transformational leader. Each of these young people will return to their churches ready to serve in a variety of ways while working with their mentor to achieve their 7 Transformers Award.
For decades, schools have recognised the importance of encouraging leadership in children while many of our churches still cling to the mentality of children should be seen and not heard.
From the age of 10 and up students begin making crucial decisions about their life. This is also a time when many are transitioning from primary school to intermediate or intermediate to high school and it is in times of transition that churches often lose members. If we're serious about our future Church, we must get serious about investing in these young leaders.
At our weekend Transformers camps we plant the seeds of leadership in young people’s hearts and encourage and equip their church leaders to further develop their leadership through mentoring and intentionally creating opportunities for them to serve.
We believe that children develop leadership by discovering their gifts and using them to serve others and God. So every child has the potential to be a leader, because every child has a strength or gift that they can contribute.
And leadership grows from a healthy view of oneself within a community. The more children and young people feel they belong and are valued, the more confident and willing they are to share their gifts.
If you would like to know more about nurturing and developing young leaders in your church community contact Kids Friendly. Other Transformers camps we have planned for this year include Wellington and Wanganui/Manawatu Presbyteries.
Kids Friendly coach
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid to Presbyterian Investment Fund depositors will remain at 5.00% for May. The Fund accepts deposits from parishes, but it is not open to individuals. For further information email the Secretary to the Trustees, Heather McKenzie.
Spiritual Directors' Formation Programme 2011 - 2012
This comprehensive and proven two year part-time course is open to mature Christians of any denomination.
The course offers:
Systematic study of spiritual direction, regular workshops conducted by an ecumenical team of qualified leaders, supervised practical experience and a ‘spiritual companion’ option in Year 2.
For details contact:
Applications due by 20 AUGUST 2010. Early applications are appreciated and late applications may be accepted.
Join the World Communion of Reformed Churches in worship 20 June
The Uniting General Council of the World Communion of Reformed Churches will take place 17 June to 28 June in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.
Please set aside 20 June to join in worship, we ask your congregations to focus their worship on the birth of the World Communion of Reformed Churches – to pray along with us, and where possible to consider sending a birthday gift. During May we will have the liturgy to be used in Grand Rapids on 20 June for this celebration, and you are welcome to share it or adapt or use in part as you see fit.
Please keep praying for the World Communion of Reformed Churches as we prepare for this historic General Council.
Our planet is changing: what on earth are we going to do?
Sponsored by St David’s Presbyterian, Palmerston North.
May 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31
Terrace End café, corner Ruahine Street and Broadway Avenue.
7 pm conversation with coffee/tea/sweets available for purchase.
7.30 pm speakers and discussion
Free and open to the public – koha will be accepted.
A first-hand look at some of the enormous challenges facing the world, New Zealand and our local communities in the 21st Century, with world-leading speakers from the Manawatu providing insights into possible solutions including: Prof Ralph Sims, Director School of Engineering and Advanced Technology Centre for Renewable Energy, Massey University; Dr Brent Clothier, Plant and Food Research; Dr Marjan Van Den Belt, Principal Ecological Economist and Deputy Director, Ecological Economics Research Centre of New Zealand, Massey University; Prof John Flenley Department of Geography, Massey University and A Rocha; Andrew Rushworth, head of Palmerston North consortium building battery electric passenger service vehicles; Dr Allanah Ryan, School of People, Environment & Planning, Massey University; John Fowke, General Manager, Finance, Toyota NZ; Anne Billing, TBL Solutions – Awapuni Recycling Centre.
For further information phone 06 358-3246 or email email@example.com
Clearing the Air
Forum on Climate Change
New Zealand Christian Network (visionnetwork)
16-17 July 2010,
Unitec Campus Auckland
In the wake of Copenhagen, some commentators are filled with a sense of triumph while others are filled with dismay. A forum for the synthesis of science and faith on climate change and the development of a joint communiqué by national church leaders.
For more information visit the website.
National Youth Week 2010
22 - 30 May
The theme for Youth Week 2010 is Rangatahi Ora: Whānau Ora, connecting young people and their whānau/families. Whānau connection is really important to young people, and contributes positively to their identity, self worth and self esteem (which is supported by the findings from the Youth 07 report and initial findings from the Youth Connectedness research). When young people are connected to their whānau, they are well, and their whānau will be well.
The Youth Week theme is based on the whakatauki "He tina ki runga, he tamore ki raro. Contentment above, strongly rooted below." The theme and whakatauki are the foundation of the Youth Week resources.
Started in 1995, countries all around the world have since adopted Youth Week. More on their website.
Parents Inc need a full time parents course Toolbox Coordinator Support Person
Applications close 7 May 2010
Parents Inc Toolbox is an innovative six week parenting course run in local communities, often by churches, throughout New Zealand.
Toolbox is looking for a person to join their Auckland based Toolbox team. This role supports the development, organisation and promotion of Toolbox parenting groups, supporting the 20-strong team of Toolbox Coordinators, in a fun and varied role.
Applicants must have a commitment to the mission and values of Parents Inc.
Disturbing the Peace
Talk about how peace and spirituality, peace and justice intertwine
15 May 2010, 9 am to 4 pm
St Matthew-in-the-City, Wellesley and Hobson Streets, Auckland
Keynote speaker Canon Paul Oestreicher, retired director of the Centre for International Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral; founding Chair of Amnesty International; Vice President, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; Quaker Chaplain to the University of Sussex and a lifelong worker for peace and social justice. Canon Oestreicher will also be the guest preacher at St Matthew-in-the-City the next morning, 8am & 10am, Sunday.
Leading New Zealand peace advocates have been invited to respond to his two presentations:
Fr Peter Murnane, Peace activist recently acquitted in the Waihopai 3 trial
Revd Sande Ramage, School chaplain and former military chaplain
Ms Edwina Hughes, coordinator of Peace Movement Aotearoa
Associate Professor Peter Lineham, Historian of Peace Movements
Dr Heather deVere, Lecturer in Peace and Conflict Studies
Cost: $40.00 Registration / $20.00 for Students & Unwaged (includes lunch and teas for those who pre-register).
For more information email Clay Nelson or phone 09 379 0625
Learn about other faiths
16 & 30 May 2010
12:30pm – 5:00pm
Learn about various faith communities in the Wellington area. Over two Sundays in May visit a local Hindu Temple, Muslim Mosque, Buddhist Temple and a Jewish Synagogue.
See website for more information or phone 0274 853 128.
Crime and Punishment Debate in Palmerston North
Saturday 8 May, 1 pm and 4 pm
(off Amesbury St. behind the AA and the Cathedral on Broadway)
The public are invited to hear Ian Lees-Galloway (Labour MP, PNth) and David Garrett (Act MP) debate the policy proposal known as “three strikes and you’re out”. If the policy were to become law, it could lead to the permanent imprisonment of criminal offenders on the occasion of their third conviction for a serious offence. It is a proposal that has been supported by Sensible Sentencing Trust and others who believe that we need to send a stronger message of deterrence to known and would-be offenders. It has been opposed by others such as the Prison Fellowship and PARS (Prisoners Aid and Rehabilitation Society) who believe it is inhumane and would simply lead to more people in prison for longer periods.
Debate will be followed by comments from a panel. Tea and coffee at the end of proceedings by koha/donation. For more information, contact Rex Begley phone 06 354 178, ext. 845
World Fair Trade Day 8 May
Fair Trade Fortnight 1 – 16 May
You have the power to change lives - support Fair Trade.
Together, we can make a difference in the lives of small producers, artisans and formers around the planet. Buying Fair Trade is a concrete and efficient way to participate in the construction of a better world for several million small producers in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
World Fair Trade Day is your day to join millions of people celebrating and become the change you seek. Help to spread the message around the world, change your consumption patterns, and attend a World Fair Trade Day event. Join us in targeting poverty, climate change and economic crisis. See the website. Your local Trade Aid store has events for two weeks, details here.
Fair Trade Fortnight 1 - 16 May
Please promote Fair Trade Fortnight and enjoy a Fair Cuppa with Fairtrade tea, coffee and chocolate after church, made all the more delicious because small producers get a fair price so they can feed and educate their families and look after their communities. Fairtrade bananas are also available in many parts of the country. See www.cws.org.nz/take-action/trade/fair-trade-fortnight-2010
“Thank you for all that you have done, the people of Haiti appreciate your generosity,” reports an ACT Alliance worker. CWS partners continue to distribute aid in Haiti. With an estimated 10 years of rebuilding and recovery facing the poor Caribbean nation much more is still needed. People are grateful for the help received so far that has kept many alive. Donations can still be made at www.cws.org.nz.
Please pray for the people of Sudan and Qinghai Province in China
Sudan has held its first general elections in 24 years. Although the process has been criticised and many groups are still undecided on accepting the result, this is an important step towards maintaining the peace accord. The war ravaged people of South Sudan desperately need calm as they face a new period of uncertainty. CWS partners have been working on voter education, peace building and health issues.
On 14 April an earthquake struck Qinghai, one of the poorest regions in western China, killing at least 1994 people and injuring 12,000. Rescue efforts have been hampered by the thin air (giving rescuers altitude sickness) and the remoteness of the region. ACT Alliance, of which CWS is a member, is distributing quilts, food and water to help people survive in some of the worst-hit areas.
Mrs Anne Stewart, Student Ordinand, Christchurch Presbytery, was licensed on 6 December 2009.
Mr Brendan O’Hagan, Student Ordinand, Christchurch Presbytery, was licensed on 6 December 2009.
Ordination and Inductions:
Rev Judy Amira Hunia Te Whiu, Licentiate, Te Aka Puaho, to Amorangi Minister, Te Taitokerau District, 17 October 2009.
Rev Anne Stewart, Licentiate, Christchurch Presbytery, to Minister, St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Bryndwr, Christchurch Presbytery, 10 December 2009.
Changes in Status:
Rev Marino Sherwin Gray, Amorangi Minister, Auckland Maori Pastorate, Te Aka Puaho, to Other Recognised Minister, Te Aka Puaho, 27 November 2009.
Rev Ngatokotoru (Toko) Ine, Other Recognised Minister, Wellington Presbytery, to Other Recognised Minister, Auckland Presbytery, 25 March 2010.
Rev Paul Prestidge, St James` Presbyterian Church, New Plymouth, to Member, Wellington Presbytery, 18 April 2010.
Changes in Co-Operative Venture Ministries:
Rev Darryn Hickling, Minister, Christian Churches of New Zealand, to Minister, Linwood Ave Union Parish, Christchurch Presbytery, 1 February 2010.
Rev Linda King, Minister, Anglican Church, Hauraki Plans Co-operating Church, Kaimai Presbytery, 11 April 2010.
Mr Mike Uttley, Student Ordinand, Supply (interim), Light House – Church on the Hill, Welcome Bay, Tauranga, Kaimai Presbytery, 23 January 2010.
Rev James Graham Jones, Minister Emeritus, Manawatu Wanganui Presbytery, resigned from the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, 11 March 2010.
Rev Margaret Wilkinson, Minister Emerita, North Shore Presbytery, died 25 October 2009
Rev Rowlatt (Ro) Rogers, Minister Emeritus, Christchurch Presbytery, died 28 October 2009.
Please note that the Rev John Hodgson, Other Recognised Minister, Manawatu-Wanganui Presbytery, transferred to Other Recognised Minister, Auckland Presbytery, 15 September 2009.
Rev Alexander Sutherland, Other Recognised Minister, Wellington Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Wellington Presbytery, 16 February 2010.